Volunteer Street Interview Recorder wanted

Are you interested in making a hands-on contribution to a local research project on policing, criminal justice and poverty? The Vancouver Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG) is looking for Volunteer Street Interview Recorders for the “Policing, Criminal Justice and Poverty in Victoria” research project. The volunteers will support Peer-Interviewers as they talk with members of our street community about their experiences and views on policing, criminal justice and poverty.

What is the project about?

Policing practices and the criminal justice system hold distinct and dramatic consequences for the most marginalized members of our communities. In Victoria, Coast Salish Territories, policing and the criminal justice system are part of the daily lives of many street-involved people. This research project goes to the heart of the matter: we’re looking into these issues by talking with members of the street community about their experiences, perspectives and ideas.

How will the research be done?

Community members who are, or have been, street-involved will be interviewing their peers. Volunteer Street Interview Recorders will accompany the Peer Interviewers with the interview grid. The Volunteer’s job will be to write down the participants’ answers to the questions on the interview grid. This will allow the Peer Interviewers to focus on the discussion.

What commitment do we require?

Volunteer Street Interview Recorders will be asked to attend an orientation and practice workshop, with the Peer Interviewers, on August 18th from 12 – 2 pm. A free lunch will be served.

We ask that volunteers be available for at least two three-hour interview sessions, which will be held on the following days:

· Tuesday, August 23
· Friday, August 26
· Monday, August 29
· Wednesday, August 31
· Tuesday, September 6

Volunteers will be invited to a debrief session and thank-you dinner in early September, where they will see the research results and participate in analyzing the data. VIPIRG staff will be available at all times to provide support to the volunteers.

Why do we need volunteers?

This research project is running on a shoe-string budget, but we think that the issues are too important to ignore. We’re dedicating most of our available resources to provide street-involved Peer Interviewers with stipends and research participants with small honorariums to acknowledge the expertise and insight they will provide.

Who should apply to volunteer?

We’re looking for people who are committed to social justice, dedicated to eradicating poverty and interested in anti-oppressive practice. Volunteers who have prior experience or an interest in working with the street community are welcome. We also ask that people understand issues of confidentiality, are good listeners and are able to take notes/transcribe.

Students and others looking to gain hands-on social research experience are invited to apply. We welcome people who have done this type of work before, and our staff will be available to provide mentorship throughout the project for volunteers who are doing research for the first time.

What you get out of the experience

If you’re looking to contribute to grassroots research on important social justice issues, this type of work is for you! In addition to taking an active role in critical research, volunteers will gain skills in interviewing and hands-on experience in social justice research. Volunteers will also be offered a certificate/reference letter upon request.

How to apply and get involved!

To register for the orientation session on August 18th, please send your name and a paragraph explaining why you’d like to volunteer and/or whether you have any prior relevant experience to:

Ashley Mollison, Research Assistant, Vancouver Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG)

Due to the sensitive nature of this research, we ask that you provide contact information for either one character or professional reference Please indicate in your email which of the following interview dates you would be able to attend: August 23, August 26, August 29, August 31, September 6.

A full research proposal and the interview grid are available upon request.

Update: A copy of the Out of Sight: Policing Poverty in Victoria Report can be found here.